WHAT KINDS OF PEOPLE COME TO THESE RETREATS?
All sorts of people: in the past we’ve had AT LEAST one of the following – G.P., scientist, artist, blogger, musician, stay-at-home Mum, social-worker, teacher, administration assistant, author, thought-leader, people from the public service, wine-maker, media consultant, small-business-owner, farmer, life-coach, paediatrician, university lecturer, graphic-designer, architect, cover-girl, game-changer, well-being expert, events co-ordinator, and more!
If we were to generalise, we’d say they’re big-hearted women of all ages looking for an incredible adventure.
Here’s some words from our previous Retreaters!
I am a GP who saw the BHB retreat as an opportunity to find artists to help me with science communication for projects I’m involved with outside my day to day job (climate change communication and a coming of age talk for teenagers). The application process ensured that a group of complementary personalities were selected. Thank goodness for that – imaging spending a week with people you didn’t like! The retreat itself was one moment of someone (or a group of people) paying close attention to detail followed by the next. The minimum you’ll receive is high quality structured adult play in a lovely place. Alternatively, you’ll have my experience of it being months down the track, remembering the shared insights, following up a series of great suggestions and acting on the encouragement I received from my fellow retreats to get my creative projects off the ground. Thank you BHB team. – Eleanor Evans
As I boarded my plane all ready to attend the Big Hearted Business Bali Retreat, my expectation was that I would learn a few things about starting a creative business, meet some like minded people and do some fun arts and craft. Little did I know, I would walk away with that and so much more. I returned to Melbourne feeling like a shiny new toy still in the box busting to get out and play. I had so many things I could do. I could create my own website, I could play an instrument, I could take amazing photos, I could write a novel, I could do yoga, I could do anything! On my first day back at work a colleague said to me “wow, you look so happy” and for the first time in a long time, I was. I now understand that your dreams can come true, having a creative lifestyle is possible and you can do what makes you happy. The BHB Bali Retreat was an unforgettable experience that I will forever be grateful for. – Kiara Streeter (I Spy Photography Project)
It felt like jumping off a bridge, applying for the BHB Creative Retreat – regardless of whether I got selected or not, the idea of going away with and laying myself open to 20 strangers was nerve wracking. But I shouldn’t have worried at all. The fine BHB crew were there to catch me, to catch us; they had carefully put together the group of participants and it seemed within hours we had become a supportive community. The week was like no other, feeding our hearts, spirits and minds with nourishing food, laughter, new ideas, encouragement and play. It was hard to leave, but on returning home, we’ve all stayed in touch through social media and are still cheering each other on. I have felt an incredible surge of support and confidence to pursue my creative dreams, and the retreat has given me that energy boost to take steps towards those dreams each day. – Rebecca Jee
I am so grateful to the amazing people who created and facilitated the BHB Creative Retreat, 2014. The experience was deeply grounding and validating. I left with my heart full of excitement, motivated by the energy and positivity of new friends. I feel strong, energetic and ready to embark on new adventures with an open heart. – Emily Wills
When I was completing the BHB Retreat application it felt extravagant and indulgent. NOW I can’t imagine who I could have been if I hadn’t done the retreat. The care, the effort and the resources BHB team provided each and every one of us, over the week, is a rare and very powerful gift. Post BHB Retreat: I am asking a lot more from my life and, in such a short time, it’s rewarding me with things I previously wouldn’t have dared to dream for myself. The BHB retreat is a once in a life time experience. If you have a little niggle or a whisper inside you that is quietly telling you to apply, even though you have three million more things to do today, Listen to it – It won’t let you down. – Anna Phillips
‘Words can hardly describe how beautiful and nourishing the BHB retreat was for me. It was a week of intense friendship and an incredible sharing of wisdom. Clare gave us the courage to open our hearts and share with each other our passions and fears, and also the courage to dream big dreams. And let’s not forget the amazing food and daily yoga with a view! I will never forget my week in Bali and the incredible friends I’ve made’. – Katey Love
In case you are wondering, the Big Hearted Business Retreat IS the real deal. Yes I had a superb, relaxing, ridiculously inspiring retreat with food that was ‘out of this world’ good and people that were so perfectly selected as a group that it was like having a personal friend-maker working for you. But better than that, when I returned to my ‘real’ life I brought all the magic back with me including some serious clarity about some sneaky blocks that have been holding me back, some major insider-knowledge about what it really takes to be creative, successful, awesome AND happy. And best of all, the BHB team did not fall off the earth once the whole experience was over- they are still there making each and every one us remember that indeed we can make that special thing that is in us happen in the world. Thanks CB, Pip, Jesse, Defah and Lisa for making it magic then and still. – Susan Nethercote (Creative Conversation)
I was (and continue to be) blown away by my experience of the BHB retreat. Clare and friends handpicked all that is beautiful and inspiring in life and lovingly packaged it into a single perfect week. From the deeply moving morning yoga to the warm flow of conversation while crafting with Pip, every moment was infused with the golden glow of what life is like when lived to the full. I want to thank everyone involved in creating such a uniquely inspiring event; the friends I’ve made have given me so much already and continue to fuel me as I translate the richness of this experience into my everyday life. – Samara Greenwood (Architect)
The BHB Retreat in Bali exceeded my expectations and imagination in every possible way. I knew it was going to be good and that it was in so many ways “perfect timing”, but I didn’t know it would be SO life altering. As a Musician earning around 25K a year, this was my biggest investment to date. The experience was worth every buckeroo, without a shadow of a doubt! Clare and the BHB team gave their hearts and expertise, created an amazing program and truly looked after each one of us with so much big heartedness! The beautiful, wise, hero women who attended inspired me, made me laugh and cry and gave me profound support and love. Did I mention the food? Bliss! Villa Gaia? Paradise! So… do not hesitate in applying for this adventure. It will validate your creativity and who you are AND give you the tools to get out there and be even more fabulous than you already are. And THAT is a precious gift to give to yourself and then share with the rest of us! – Betsy Hanson (Musician)
Here are some of the words that I put in my diary during the BHB retreat: Supportive, enlightening, thought provoking, poignant, incredible, reflective, connecting, amazing, wow! I feel truly blessed to have had this experience, I must of been born under a lucky star!
I have two daughters who have grown up to be beautiful young women, if I could wave my magic wand I would wish they could have this experience & take all this knowledge & love with them into their future to live authentic fabulous lives. – Sally Smith
The BHB Retreat was life changing. The authentic and generous hosts, Clare, Pip, Jesse and Defah opened their hearts to us all with their own perfect mix of strength and vulnerability and this in turn allowed an eclectic group of 21 women, to unravel and flourish under their gentle guidance and encouragement. The effects were astonishing. With Jesse’s yoga to book end every day, Clare’s coaching kindness, beautiful surrounds, Defah’s day trip to a beautiful traditional water ceremony, nourishing food and Pip’s magnificent “Crafternoons”, every component added to the overall success of the week together. We left Bali united in unconditional friendship, encouragement and with renewed energy to pursue our unique creative callings. Best of all, I left with a “plan” and am now busily implementing it, secure in the confidence that no matter how loud or soft or lyrical, my voice counts. Clare said “Find your people” and so I did in Ubud, with endless gratitude. – Anna Reeves
ON C.B. and B.H.B.
“I have worked with the inestimably gifted Clare Bowditch on a number of occasions, and witnessed her in a number of guises – hostess, emcee, troubadour, broadcaster, party planner. In each she has shone beyond expectations. She is a natural when it comes to working a crowd and I would trust her with any event. I could not recommend her more highly, and plan to vote for her repeatedly when she inevitably runs for Prime Minister of Australia.” – Marieke Hardy
“Most business coaching models rely on a blinkered belief in the success of the ‘business’ as one’s ultimate goal. Trouble is most of us see life as bigger than ‘business’. Enter Clare Bowditch with Big Hearted Business; her coaching has been a complete watershed…” – Monique diMattina (musician)
“The actual BHB conference weekend was life-changing, an 11.5 out of 10 for me. I discovered my voice, found my bliss and connected with people who can support me on my journey to do what makes me happy while I make money and save the world!” – Martine Booth
“Earlier in the year I took the plunge and left my day job to allow more time for my creative passion, photography. I had been looking for a small business course for a while but nothing seemed to cut it, too grey, too dull and not enough champagne involved. When I saw the program for Big Hearted Business I knew it was just the ticket and I was right! The meditation sessions, healthy eating advice and creative craft breaks alongside the wonderful practical business and life advice from the guest speakers left me feeling motivated and inspired. I was so pleased to meet dozens of other creative business types just like me, all with similar stories and brimming with passion and talent. It’s such a pleasure to be part of the BHB conference and the BHB community!” – Olivia Blackburn
“The Big Hearted Business conference gave me so much – permission to celebrate who I am and how I work, practical information about how to channel my creative energy into making actual money (yes- money!) and a truly fabulous bunch of people to stay connected with as we go about our businesses” – Jenny O’Keefe
“I love that you knew your stuff! The business stuff, the tech stuff and the heartfelt stuff (and you did deliver it in a way that made sense!) You did it! You delivered a creative business conference where we were engaged on every level in every way! We laughed! We cried! We sang! We crafted! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” – Rene` Strohmayer – Lucky owner of The Sunshine Van.
“I went to the Big Hearted Business Conference with an unfulfilled longing to create & was utterly inspired by what I found. I didn’t have a light bulb moment, it was more like an awakening, an unfurling of long dormant dreams. Clare & the amazing speakers spoke such truths – they had me in tears. I came home with a new sense of myself as a functioning artist, an arsenal of tools to keep me moving, genuine support – & a plan to save the world (just a little bit…)!” –Melinda Boyd
“BHB 2013 was one of the greatest creative things I’ve done for myself, for my craft & for my way of life. I left the weekend with the knowledge, skills, networks and good feelings to move forward into my new future. I cannot rave enough about this wonderful conference. Thank you Clare, Georgia and the BHB crew for making it happen.” – Tania Mariani
“BHB has really transformed things for me. I’m finally writing and doing the things I’ve wanted to for years but not had the confidence to, and have met other like minded creative passionates. Big hugs and many thanks to all at BHB.” – Caitlin McGrath
“I was so thrilled to be chosen as one of the scholarship winners for the Big Hearted Business Conference. Not only was the weekend filled with oh-em-gee moments listening to the talented speakers, but I also had the opportunity to meet many other inspiring ‘sensitive creative types’ on their journey to doing what they love. Being the first ‘Inspiration Bomb’ artist was an honour. Collaborating with Clare on these interviews and showcasing my chalk lettering on video opened my eyes up to new possibilities, both creatively and professionally. I’m so grateful to the BHB crew for helping me launch my new business with a bomb!” – Carla Hackett, Foxglove Lettering (BHB Scholarship Winner and the first ‘Inspiration Bomb’ artist)
“It was an absolute privilege to be a part of the first ever BHB conference. The workshops and brilliant speakers left me feeling totally inspired and empowered to keep doing what I love and build my creative business. I cannot thank the amazing Clare Bowditch and BHB crew enough for sharing their knowledge, vision and big love.” – Prue Sheed
“I arrived at the BHB conference not sure I belonged, if i had the creativity or business plans to justify my presence. I left inspired, energised and equipped with strategies to put thoughts and ideas into action. I left with a new question – not ” do I belong?” but ” how can I help others to feel they belong?” Thank you clare and the whole BHB team! “– Catherine Devanny
“Every time Clare Bowditch addresses an audience, a crowd or a person, she never fails to impress with her brilliance, insight, charisma, warmth and freaky ability to be in tune with people. Be it a music concert or sitting between political heavyweights on ABC’s Q and A, she is perfect on a panel, on her own or interviewing anyone, from Nanas on the street to political leaders. Her extraordinary insight and natural connection with people stays with anyone lucky enough to be in her presence.” – Catherine Deveny